More than 20 years ago, affluence researchers Dr. Thomas Stanley and Dr. William Danko surveyed a vast number of millionaire households in the United States.What they discovered was groundbreaking at the time.
The average U.S. millionaire, they found, lives a frugal lifestyle. They are disproportionately clustered in modest, middle-class neighborhoods. They drive used cars. They don’t spend money on jewelry, watches, boats or other high-ticket items. They’re self-made, meaning they did not inherit their wealth; they’re first-generation millionaires.
In 1996, the researchers published their findings in a book called The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. The book became a mega-bestseller and, to this day, remains a top personal finance classic.
Fast-forward to 2012.